Life Comes At You, Fast!

February Newsletter, 2019  Rick McPherson

We really weren’t expecting to hear, what we heard. 

“Go home, pack some things and head over to the hospital… get  checked in… we’re doing surgery in the morning…” is what the doctor said. 

It was the Friday before New Year’s Day and we never imagined that we would be singing, Auld Lang Syne,  in 403- B, to bring in 2019.  Nonetheless the podiatrist said it was necessary to do the surgery immediately and showed us the X-ray and the migration of the infection in the bone in my wife’s foot to prove it. 

“Bacteria doesn’t take holidays,” he said.  “We can’t wait.  The infection could spread to her blood stream and threaten her life.” 

Two young (!) orthopedic surgeons arrived early the next morning and performed the surgery and removed not only the infected portion of bone but also the soft tissue surrounding it.  The procedure required the amputation of her small toe. 

“We couldn’t be happier with the results,” the lead surgeon said.  “On a scale of one to ten, it’s a ten!  She’ll be off her feet for four to six weeks and should make a full recovery.”    Okay! 

The first days of the New Year had certainly hit us hard and fast.  We had every intention of soldiering on and getting through a rough patch.  Little did we know what lay ahead.   First we had a non-compliance issue with a state agency that had to be resolved, then a serious legal matter with a property dispute.   For nineteen consecutive days my work schedule began before daylight and ended late at night.  When my head hit the pillow, I could only recite a verse from my childhood that was written on a plaque and hung in my parent’s bedroom, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  Isaiah 26:3.   Nothing fancy, but it got me through.    I also remembered an old Texas cowboy who told me, “You’re goin’ make it.  You won’t look like much, but you’re goin’ make it!”

As the calendar turned over and the new month arrived, I was glad (read ecstatic) to say good-bye to January.  Then, our daughter called, bright and early, telling us that she had fallen in the night and broken her ankle.  Now that the swelling has subsided we’ve learned that surgery is needed, including a steel plate, pins and screws.  And, she’ll be off her feet for three months. 

Did I mention that life comes at you, fast?

You see, no one is exempt from trouble.  It arrives.  Ready or not, your life can be turned upside down and inside out, in a heartbeat.   With that in mind, consider the following truths, taken from the Book of Job, The MacArthur Study Bible.

  1. There are matters going on in heaven with God that believers know    nothing about; yet they affect their lives.
  2. Even the best effort at explaining the issues of life can be useless.
  3. God’s people do suffer.  Bad things happen all the time to good people, so you cannot judge a person’s spirituality by his painful experiences or successes.
  4. Even though God seems far away, perseverance in faith is a most noble virtue since God is good and one can safely leave his life in His hands.
  5. The believer in the midst of suffering should not abandon God, but draw near to Him, so out of the fellowship can come the comfort—without the explanation.
  6. Suffering may be intense, but it will ultimately end for the righteous and God will bless abundantly.



Is It About Giving or Getting?

January Newsletter, 2019  Rick McPherson

“So, what ‘cha get for Christmas?” asked the nosey neighbor kid. 

“Ah…stuff…ya’ know…underwear and a dorky shirt and a gift card from a friend in Florida,” was the answer.

Across the land, the gifts, the wrappings, the music, the parties, the shopping, the trips and the headaches have all come and gone.  All that’s left are the memories and maybe some fruitcake.   Why is there always one piece of fruitcake left on the platter?  Maybe it’s the seed for next year’s offering.  Nonetheless, Christmas and all that it means, is over for another year.  Or is it?

I’ve been thinking about that question, “What did you get for Christmas?”  I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What did you give for Christmas?”  Is it about giving or getting?   Does anyone keep score?  Is there a big tally board in the sky, somewhere?  Is it a good, better or best Christmas if you get more than you give?  Does anyone really love to give anymore?  Like, you can’t wait for the person to open their gift that you’re giving because you’re so excited you can’t stand it?  Does that ever happen?  Does giving trump getting?  Depends.  Depends, on your heart.  One wise man said, “Guard your heart, out of it come the issues of life.”

The tradition of giving at Christmas is not original with Charles Dickens.  The act of giving is love that desires to express itself in a tangible and physical way.  “Here, this is for you!  I was thinking of you and wanted to get this for you.  I love you!  I hope you like it.”  It’s all about “you” not “me.” 

What caused the three wise men from the East to bring gifts to the baby Jesus on that first Christmas program, I mean night?  They wanted to give something of value because of Who He was.  Gold, frankincense and myrrh seemed appropriate for a King.  We’ve been giving gifts ever since.  But, when you think of it, they were simply mimicking what the King’s Father had already done. “He loved someone (us) so much that He gave His only Son to us.  He promised that anyone who believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.”  All because He loved us and gave His gift to us.  The greatest gift, ever!  The greatest love the world has ever known was an action, not an emotion. 

When I think about last week’s trip to the Quinault Reservation with toys and gifts for Native American children at Christmas, I’m reminded of how good it feels to give and how good it feels to love.  Loving is giving, right?  You can give without loving but you can’t love without giving.  Thanks to people like you and others who gave through the Les Schwab Tire Centers and TV12 Toy Drive, many Native children had a very merry Christmas!  You can see the big smile on my face and my newest helper, Ted E. Baer, as we packed the truck for the trip. “We” agree that giving is what Christmas is really all about!  And you friend are a big part of our giving!  Thank you!




December Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

Even though there’s been a push to reduce this wonderful season of the year by encouraging people to say, “Happy Holidays!” I have steadfastly resisted and deliberately said, “Merry Christmas!” to everyone, everywhere, every time.  It is the most wonderful time of the year!

On the other side of this page are the pictures of people who serve this ministry throughout the year.  Our Board members and staff are great people.  And all of us want to say, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”   May your Christmas celebration be filled with blessing and joy.

The Christmas season is all about giving and you have demonstrated that, not only now, but throughout the entire year.  Native Americans have been helped physically and spiritually, because of your special gifts.  Thank you and may God bless you for your generosity and love.  Be reminded that Heaven has recorded every gift.  If that’s not enough…you can receive a copy of your giving for 2018 by contacting Charlote, who will gladly issue a receipt.

503 492 0904

Because we are a 501 (c) (3) charitable, non-profit corporation, your giving is tax deductible.    For 2018 credit, year-end giving must be postmarked, no later than December 31. 



“We Haven’t Even Gotten to Dessert!“

November Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

There are some newsletters that are favorites of mine.  You guessed it, this is one of them.  It doesn’t take much for me to get in the Thanksgiving mood, because I love this season of the year.  I love the weather, the time-change, warm sweaters and the food.  I especially love the food!  Just the thought of Thanksgiving dinner, makes my mouth water. Garlic mashed potatoes, green bean salad, jellied and fresh cooked cranberries, buttery yeast dinner rolls, roast turkey with stuffing and gravy are some of my favorites.  And, we haven’t even gotten to dessert! 

I made the mistake recently of suggesting that we might eliminate the work and preparation of the Thanksgiving dinner and just go to a nice restaurant instead.    No, was the booming one word answer that came down from my family!  No way!  I made a mental note to never again suggest such a thing.

Thanksgiving is about family and traditions and, well, thanksgiving!  It’s about giving thanks.  It’s the time of year when we focus on expressing our gratitude to God, family and one another.  You would think that we would do that all the time, but sometimes we forget.   Sometimes we’re like the child who has just received a gift and our parent says, “What do you say?” 

Therefore, here’s what I want to say…THANK YOU!  On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, I would like to give thanks to you for your ongoing support of this ministry helping Native Americans, spiritually and physically.  Throughout the year as truckloads of groceries, clothes, boots, household supplies, Bibles, toys and candy are delivered to reservations throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, people like you have prayed and given financial gifts to enable us.  Many have heard the Good News message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness because you cared.    Simply put, this ministry could not do this vital work without your help.  So, thank you, dear friends!  Your prayers and gifts have made a big difference.  Although you may never see the Native American child or adult who has been the recipient of your gift, Heaven has recorded your kindness and generosity. 

“…I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers…”

Ephesians 1:16



Start With Why

October Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

Recently I was introduced to Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why.”   He tells how leaders inspire others to take action, stating, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”  Companies like Harley-Davidson, Apple and Southwest Airlines have discovered this truth and they have followers who identify with them on a personal level and who are loyal through thick and thin.  It’s not so much about the what  or the how, it’s about the why.  Start with why.  The why must be clear and precise.  When you describe the how, you’re telling the values and principles of why you do what you do.  These are disciplines.  When people see and hear what you say and do they will discover the what of what you are doing. 

So, I thought about it. I realized I talk more about how and what than why.  Yet, why is the main thing.  Why are we doing this ministry? Why?

There are three answers.  The first is found in a directive that Jesus Himself gave to His disciples…”But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me… to the end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 

The second is an experience  that the founder of this ministry had in a horse corral in British Columbia.  Overwhelmed by the dire need of Natives he cried out to God asking, “Why don’t You doing something?”  His answer was, “Why don’t you?”

The third is my personal encounter on the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho.  After speaking to the Tribe in the city park I watched the distribution of grocery boxes from the back of an 18 wheeler.  I asked if I could help and while doing so sensed the Lord impress on my heart, “This is what I want you to do.”  The what and how became my why.  That why was 12 years ago and continues to this day.  Start with why. 

Many who read this newsletter every month are interested in our what and how.    But more important is the why.  The why causes prayer.  The why causes giving. The why causes loyalty.  The why explains that we are taking the message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness to a people group, a culture that is often forgotten and ignored, Native Americans.   They deserve to hear that Jesus is the Savior of the world …that He is God’s Son and whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.  How’s that for why?  Let’s start with why.


Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

When our driver, Brad, backed in to the loading dock, the brake pedal went to the floor.  Alarmed, he jumped out of the cab and saw smoke billowing from the rear dual tires.  After extinguishing the fire he called me.  He was safe and no one was injured but the rear brakes were another story!  After a 50 ton wrecker delivered it to the repair shop I got the brutal news that the repairs would be $2,300.00, which included the tow! 

On the positive side, all this happened in town and not last week coming home from Hermiston on I-84.   Nevertheless,  the estimate took my breath away.  The shop is willing to work with us and take three payments, but it’s still a shock.

In the past, certain people have asked to please let them know when we have a special and unexpected financial need.  Well, this is one of those times.  Thank you in advance if you’re able to help us with an extra financial gift this month.  And, God bless you!



“School Days”

September Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

After all these years, I still remember my first day, at Lambton-Kingsway Public School, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.  It was special to me because my parents allowed me to ride my bike.  Although a kindergarten student, their thinking was that my older sister (third grade) would protect me.  This assignment lasted until we turned the first corner and from then on, I was on my own. Granted, it was a different world in 1953 than now, but I shudder to think of any child aged five, riding their bike to school.  Busy streets?  No problem! 

Now, children are ready with new clothes, shoes, backpacks, haircuts and any number of electronic devices to face the school year.  It’s a rite of passage as vacation fades and assignments, homework and test schedules replace the dog days of summer.   And of course, every student must be prepared for recess and lunch. 

Although each mom reading this is praying a, “Oh thank you, God!”  that school has started again let me remind you that it doesn’t last long.  One day your children will be graduating and you’ll find yourself parked in your SUV near the school yard, drinking a small, drip coffee and watching strangers deposit their kids in the same spot you did.  And, it will happen in the blink of an eye.  So, enjoy the moment!

The Labor Day schedule always affects us here at Pacific NW Outreach.  The heat of summer is replaced by crisp morning air, diminished daylight hours and leaves in lovely shades of yellow, orange and red.  It really is a beautiful season of the year.  But for some in the Native culture, it is anything but beautiful.  The blessings that we count for our own children are not transferred to every school across the country. 

In a recent television interview I heard a well-known celebrity talk about Rose Bud and Pine Ridge as two of the poorest areas.  These are reservations in South Dakota that we have served for many years.    She has transferred her words into actions and contributed financial gifts to help.  Yet many children still do not have school supplies, clothes and food to succeed.  Unemployment is a staggering 80%.  To say the need is great is an understatement. 

We are committed to helping Native Americans and their children both physically and spiritually.  When we deliver a truck load it is always free.  Groceries, boots, household items and yes, school supplies and toys are provided because of people like you who help us financially and prayerfully.  It would be impossible to do this work without your help!  God bless you and thank you!

So, what motivates us to keep doing this ministry?  Well, there is a story about Jesus and His disciples.  He was talking to them about hunger, thirst, sickness, clothing and jail.  He said that when you help people who are suffering like this; you are in essence doing it to Him.  The disciples were shocked.

 “When did that happen?” they asked. 

Jesus said, “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”   St. Matthew 25:31-40




August Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

I was on vacation and happened to check my phone.  The text was from Stan Lien.  “Long time, no see…” is how the message began. 

He went on to write that he and Michelle had relocated to Hoquiam and wanted to minister again to the Quinault Nation in Taholah.  Would we be able to help?

Taholah is a small village on the Pacific Coast, in Grays Harbor County, Washington, north of Aberdeen.  It is so remote that Hwy. 190 literally ends there.  The sign says, “No improved road past this point.”  Named after a Chief in 1905, it is now the headquarters for the Quinault Indian Nation.  The population of 840 people is 93% Native American.  There are 240 households and 45% of them have children less than 18 years of age.  Sadly, the community has 35% who live below the poverty level. 

Not only are the social and economic realities severe, the spiritual and emotional challenges are daunting as well.  The message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness needs to be told.  Someone needs to tell it.  Someone needs to go. 

 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written: 

       ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’”

Romans 14:14, 15;  Isaiah 52:7

Since Stan is a longtime friend, I know his heart and love for Native Americans.  I know he’s the “someone” who will “tell it.”  He’s the “someone” who will go.  And we’ll help him.  That’s what he asked for and that’s what we’ll do.  We’ll help.

Pacific NW Outreach has been helping for a long time.  People like you who read this Newsletter every month and help us with prayers and finances are the reason we are able to do, what we do.  You’re the team.  You’re the family.  You’re the people.  The Nez Perce would say, “Niimiipuu”…One Great Nation. 

On behalf of the Taholah Natives who will receive help….THANK YOU!  May God bless you for your prayers and your gifts.  Although you may never visit this small village, your gifts will make a difference and you’ll REMEMBER TAHOLAH!




July Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

“Powwow, celebrations of American Indian culture in which people from diverse indigenous nations gather for the purpose of dancing, singing and honoring the traditions of their ancestors.  The term powwow, which derives from a curing ritual, originated in one of the Algonquian nations of the Northeast Indians.  During the 1800s, travelling medicine shows selling cure-all tonics used “powwow” to describe their wares.  These vendors often employed local Indians to dance for the entertainment of potential customers, who soon applied the term to the exhibition dancing as well as to the patent medicines.  The name took hold and Indians themselves added to it their nomenclature to describe dancing for an audience in an exhibition.”  Britannica

We have an annual powwow that meets in our own backyard.  Every year Native Americans gather at Delta Park in Portland, OR, for a weekend of celebration.  We always sponsor a Prayer Tent and provide drinks, snacks and free Buckskin Bibles.  Lucy, our lead person faithfully talks and prays with everyone and anyone who comes by and asks for prayer or just a cup of cold water! Our goal is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.    The Buckskin Bible is always a favorite and features a complete Bible study plan written by Gleason Ledyard.   Natives frequently refer to the Bible as “Heaven’s Book.”  When you think about it, that’s a good name!

Although the weekend featured Tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest, colorful regalia,  intricate dancing and lots of good food;  (read:  Indian Fry Bread)  the main event occurred on Sunday of the Father’s Day weekend with a tremendous rain and wind storm.  Unfortunately the Prayer Tent didn’t survive the elements.  But we did and we’re very thankful!

All of this is only possible because of people like you.  Your financial gifts and prayer support make this ministry viable.  It’s not easy because we are constantly invading the Enemy’s territory and He resists and wreaks havoc whenever possible.  However, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1

As your summer continues keep an eye open for Powwows in your area. Who knows, you may find one in your own backyard!




June Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

It was one of those picture-perfect days in the Pacific Northwest.  The sun was shining; there were big white clouds and a soft blue sky.  The temperature was right around seventy.  I was northbound on the I-205, nearing West Linn.  I’ve probably driven that road hundreds of times, but for some reason I noticed a “Viewpoint” sign and decided to stop. It was worth it.   The view was spectacular.  The Willamette River stretched out before me and the backdrop of trees and mountains combined to make the setting like a framed picture.  I turned the ignition off and the big Detroit diesel shuddered, vibrated and stopped.  All I could hear was the wind softly blowing through the evergreens and the highway traffic behind me.  Why hadn’t I done this before?

My log book shows tens of thousands of miles driving to Reservations across the country, but I don’t remember stopping for “Viewpoints”.  Fuel, lodging, bathrooms and more cheese-burgers than I can count have been the reasons to stop, but not “Viewpoints”.  That’s going to change, however.  I learned something in that West Linn experience.  I think God gives us Viewpoint opportunities in life so that we can enjoy the trip.  In fact, Scripture is full of wording that encourages us to “pull over”.  The traffic of life continues to roar past but we are, “in green pastures…beside still waters…being restored.”  (Psalm23:2-3)

The other take-away from the Viewpoint was my reflection on this ministry.  It includes my appreciation for the many people who help us financially every month.  Additionally there are scores who regularly pray for us.  We could not do this ministry serving Native Americans without people who give and pray.   Our mission has not changed.  We’re still telling the Truth of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.  We’re still telling the story of Jesus, the Savior of the world. 

In other words, the Viewpoint gave me opportunity to “count my blessings, and name them one by one.”  If I was making a list, you’d be on it!  In fact, I would print your name in block capitals and underline it.    I appreciate you and all you’re doing to help us.

Here’s a suggestion for your trip.  Take a moment to pull over and get off the road.  Shut off your engine.  Roll down the windows.  Breathe.  Think.  Pray.    Look at these pictures and realize that your involvement in this ministry is helping us help them.  Enjoy the Viewpoint!



“Another Message from Elden”

May Newsletter, 2018  Rick McPherson

Recently we received a generous check from a friend of the Mission.  It came to us from his brother who explained that Elden had passed and in his Last Will & Testament he had named our ministry and wanted a portion of his estate to be given to God’s work.  What a surprise.  What a blessing. 

Elden was known to us and had been thoughtful and deliberate in his giving to our work through the years.  The first time I met him he was standing in his driveway and was directing our truck to back up and retrieve a refrigerator that he was donating.  Later, as his health failed, he moved to a care facility and gave us the furnishings of his home!  He was a friend of Pacific NW Outreach and Native Americans.   

Now as I reflect over his last and final gift, I realize that his commitment was to make sure that even in death his wishes would be carried out and the ministry that he loved would be the recipient of a portion of his worldly possessions.  It was so true of Elden to make sure that every detail was done and his Will was evidence of that fact. 

Let me encourage you to think similarly.  When you die with a Will & Testament document, it will be fulfilled according to the letter of the Law.  You can designate your estate however you want and it can include ministries that you have supported as well as your family and loved ones.  It only takes a little time to do it and the benefits are incredibly worthwhile and valuable.  Instead of putting it off, take time to prioritize it for the sake of your family and your wishes.   Dying without a Will & Testament will guarantee that not one penny of your estate will be given to God’s work. 


One of the cruel realities of modern technology is the fact that information on computers can be “hacked” by the unscrupulous.  It happened to us!  The virus attacked our system affecting our QuickBooks files, our mailing list, our historical pictures and documents.   The information on our system was “scrambled and locked.”  We have been able to recreate most of our important information.  The experts have assured us that no personal and confidential information was accessed from our system.  That was a relief!  The “window of opportunity” to further harm our system was very small.  We have now taken steps to further protect our computers and the ministry. 


The “life line” of this ministry is the mailing list.  IF you know of a friend, relative, coworker, neighbor or church friend who once received this monthly communique and because of the “hacking” has been dropped….PLEASE LET US KNOW.  We are rebuilding to the best of our ability.  Any help you give is GREATLY appreciated!   Or, if you would like to receive this newsletter via email each month, we can do that for you.